What Makes E-learning a Success: Lessons From an EdTech Startup
The advent of e-learning has certainly been one of the most revolutionary innovations of the Information Age. It has allowed education to be extended across the boundaries of space, time, language and even execution. When thinking about what makes e-learning a success, it is important to first examine the challenges and struggles that e-learners face, particularly in Kenya. After that, we will examine how Jijali is tackling each one of them in order to make a difference in the youth education space in Kenya.
One of the key challenges of e-learning around the world and certainly in Kenya is the lack of motivation. E-learning requires a certain level of self-motivation and self-discipline to get through and a lot of e-learners struggle with this. Without a physical space or person to keep them accountable, most learners find themselves demotivated and this eventually causes them to abandon the course midway.
Speaking of motivation, one major reason why e-learners lose their initial momentum after a while is poor time management. Life happens and it continues to do so, which means the e-learner needs to actively manage their time in order to have part of their schedule left over for learning. Without the necessary accountability, it gets difficult to stick it out until the course is over.
Another key challenge that e-learners face in Kenya is the lack of relatability when it comes to a majority of the e-learning courses. Firstly, most courses available online for the youth are not localized to fit a Kenyan perspective. Secondly, they do not include real-world implications that a Kenyan can easily grasp and apply to their current reality. There’s still a very limited number of courses out there that are either directed towards the African or the Kenyan context. This leaves e-learners with no choice but to make do with what’s available online- mostly from the Western world.
In a situation where most of the available premium courses are from the West, a challenge of cost also arises. There are certainly a number of ways to learn various subjects for free whether it’s on YouTube or via MOOCs such as the ones offered on edX. There are, however, a number of high-quality courses that can only be accessed through a payment wall. In addition to this, the cost of internet packages to access such courses is also a major deterrent to Kenyan e-learners.
The other key reason why such a commitment is a struggle for Kenyans is the fact that most e-learning courses lack a worthwhile challenge. This affects motivation as well as the process of learning itself. Without a useful and learning-oriented challenge at the end of each module, the learners are less likely to remember what they’ve learnt and less likely to stay motivated long after the novelty is gone.
In comes Jijali
Yusudi created Jijali, an AI-powered professional skills development program, against the backdrop of a youth education landscape filled with programs that are either “no-tech” and prohibitively expensive, or “high-tech” with low accountability, low customization, low guidance, and low chances for practice learning.
As a game changer in the ed-tech space, Jijali is tackling the challenges and struggles that e-learners in Kenya face, in a number of ways, thus making its e-learning program a success.
Jijali is adaptive
The Jijali platform uses AI to personalise content for each learner. It does this by changing the level of complexity, the format of the content and the amount of external support necessary depending on the user's needs. This easily tackles the problem of motivation because it ensures that each learner is catered to with regards to their own individual needs.
Within Jijali, every learner is going through their own unique experience as opposed to going through a generalised learning experience that most e-learning courses offer their learners.
Jijali is practical
To tackle the e-learners’ problem of a lack of a worthwhile challenge, Jijali comes in to save the day with a highly practical program. The program incorporates blended learning. It allows learners to go beyond theoretical concepts by having them take part in practical tasks and challenges that enable them to better understand what they have learnt. This kind of practicality also helps in keeping the learners motivated, thus solving yet another struggle faced by learners when it comes to e-learning.
Jijali is mentorship-focused
Within Jijali, participants get to experience the kind of e-learning program that allows them to not only practice their learning but to also share their experiences with a virtual mentor. The mentor’s duties include building and nurturing the mentoring relationship, guiding the participant’s learning and development, modelling effective leadership behaviour, advising and counselling, teaching, motivating, and inspiring the mentee.
The use of mentors is extremely important for learning programs, particularly upskilling ones. It tackles a number of challenges that learners face while pursuing an e-learning course. The first of these to be tackled is the challenge of motivation. Having a mentor ensures that there is high accountability which means the learner is much more likely to follow through with the program.
High accountability also helps solve the e-learning challenge of poor time management on the part of the learner as well as the problem of a lack of relatability within the program’s content. A mentor is able to keep the learner accountable with their time and they are also able to share their real-world experiences in order to give the mentee a true picture of where their learning is taking them and why it is relevant within the Kenyan context.
Jijali is localized
The content on the Jijali platform is built by a team of local content experts and responds to the needs of the Kenyan market. This solves the problem of relatability that a lot of learners face with regards to e-learning programs. Having localised content allows the learners to place a real-world lens on what they are learning and this means they are more likely to remember it and more likely to stay motivated during the course of the program.
Looking at the above points, it is simply a matter of time before we get to see a permanent and positive change in the e-learning space in Kenya and by that time, Jijali will have certainly played its part in leading the trail.
If you’re interested in participating in the Jijali program and deepening your understanding of yourself and your career goals- we still have slots open for our upcoming group. Please sign up online at Jijali.com